Workers’ compensation policy
The department provided policy advice to government on a range of workers’ compensation issues, including a review of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Regulations 2009 and establishing a review of the firefighter provisions of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.
The department consulted with stakeholders, including employer and employee representatives, on making a number of legislative instruments under the Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992 and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 to facilitate the continued proper operation of the schemes. Examples include the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Catastrophic Injury) Rules 2018 and the Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation (Catastrophic Injury) Rules 2018, which allow access to increased benefits for injured workers who have sustained a catastrophic injury.
The department made a submission to, and appeared before, the Senate Education and Employment References Committee inquiry into the role of Commonwealth, state and territory governments in addressing the high rates of mental health conditions experienced by first responders and emergency service workers. The department advised the Government on matters raised by the inquiry and began work with other agencies on the Governments response to the inquiry’s final report.
The department provided advice to a number of businesses considering applications for declarations of eligibility to apply for a self-insurance licence under the Comcare scheme, and the Minister made four declarations during the year. The department also worked closely with Comcare to support the Commonwealth representative on the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission.